Hunter Biden sued Rudy Giuliani for allegedly participating in the “total annihilation” of his digital privacy by hacking and manipulating data from his purported laptop, as he steps up a litigation effort in the wake of his indictment on unrelated federal gun charges.
(Bloomberg) — Hunter Biden sued Rudy Giuliani for allegedly participating in the “total annihilation” of his digital privacy by hacking and manipulating data from his purported laptop, as he steps up a litigation effort in the wake of his indictment on unrelated federal gun charges.
Giuliani and lawyer Robert Costello, who is also named as a defendant, illegally accessed a copy of a hard drive that President Joe Biden’s son allegedly left at a Delaware repair shop and tampered with the data for financial gain, according to the suit filed Tuesday in federal court in Los Angeles.
“For the past many months and even years, Defendants have dedicated an extraordinary amount of time and energy toward looking for, hacking into, tampering with, manipulating, copying, disseminating, and generally obsessing over data that they were given that was taken or stolen from Plaintiff’s devices or storage platforms,” according to the complaint.
The suit comes as Hunter Biden is fighting the gun charges and awaiting possible tax charges after a plea deal fell apart, casting a cloud over his father’s bid for re-election. Hunter Biden has fought back in court, suing the US Internal Revenue Service over the disclosure of his tax information by two employees. He has sued the repair shop owner as well.
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Ted Goodman, a spokesman for the former New York City mayor, denied Hunter Biden’s claims about the use of his data, which included explicit photos and videos.
“I’m not surprised he’s now falsely claiming his laptop hard drive was manipulated by Mayor Giuliani, considering the sordid material” and other potentially damaging contents, Goodman said in a statement.
In the suit, Costello is accused of violating California law by using Hunter Biden’s user name to access an external hard drive he obtained from the repair shop owner, who said it contained “hundreds of gigabytes of Plaintiff’s personal data.” Hunter Biden claims Giuliani “has not only admitted but bragged about downloading data from Plaintiff’s ‘laptop.’”
Costello didn’t respond to a message seeking comment.
Giuliani has separately been sued by Costello’s firm for unpaid legal fees and has been found liable for defaming two Georgia election workers he falsely accused of rigging the 2020 vote against Donald Trump. He is also facing criminal charges. Giuliani, who represented Trump in legal challenges to the result of the election, was indicted in Georgia for allegedly conspiring to keep Trump in office after he lost the contest to Joe Biden.
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In his suit, Hunter Biden seeks unspecified monetary damages from Giuliani and Costello as well as the return of any financial benefits they obtained from the allegedly unlawful conduct. He is also asking for a court order requiring Giuliani to return the data to him and barring him from tampering with it.
The president’s son maintains in a footnote that the lawsuit “is not an admission” that the repair shop owner possessed “any particular laptop containing electronically stored data” belonging to him. He acknowledges that some of the data is his but argues it was “manipulated, altered and damaged before it was copied and sent to Defendants” and that their “illegal hacking and tampering has involved further alterations and damage.”
The case is Biden v. Giuliani, 23-cv-08032, US District Court, Central District of California (Los Angeles).
(Updates with statement from Giuliani spokesman in sixth paragraph.)
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